The 737 was born out of Boeing's need to introduce a competitor in the short-range, small capacity jetliner market which had been pioneered by the Sud Aviation Caravelle, BAC 1-11 and the Douglas DC-9. While Boeing had originally planned for a 60 to 85 seat airplane, consultation with launch customer Lufthansa resulted in a change to 100 seats.
Boeing was far behind its competitors when the 737 was launched, as rival aircraft were already into flight certification. To speed up the development time, Boeing reused 60 percent of the structure and systems of the existing 727, most notably the fuselage cross section, which permitted six-abreast seating compared to the rival 1-11 and DC-9's five-abreast layout. The same basic fuselage cross section was also used on the 707, and later on the 757.
- Route: Vancouver - Los Angeles
- Date: 2 January 2009
- Time: 2h:55m